F1: Are today's cars more likely to finish each race?

I’m an F1 fan, and I noticed that an increasing portion of the field seems to finish each race as the years have gone by. The cars seem to grow more reliable, and it feels like there are fewer accidents than there used to be.

I decided to see if those perceptions are correct, by using python/pandas/matplotlib to explore at a dataset of F1 data that covers 1950 through 2017.


Confirmed: modern F1 cars are more likely to finish.

More drivers are making it to the end of each race both in absolute and relative terms. The increase in finishes is driven by improvements to mechanical reliability, a reduction in accidents, and fewer cars having problems during qualifying.


  • The underlying dataset can be obtained here.